The civic body has finally transformed the governments decision to improve the living conditions of the conservancy staff into a reality.
On April 10,a total of 188 free tenements will be allotted to workers,who have either completed 25 years’ service or their relatives in case the worker has himself died.
The state government had announced free houses to conservancy staffers,a decision triggered by reports on their living conditions in The Indian Express in 2007.
After completing the necessary process,the actual implementation of the policy would be taken up by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),which would allot houses to 188 conservancy staff on April 10 in the first phase of the government’s execution of the scheme. In the second phase,kins of at least 169 conservancy staff who lost their lives while in service would be provided with free houses as well.
The government’s decision,taken by the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on October 19,2007,followed reports in The Indian Express earlier that month highlighting the pathetic living and working conditions of the conservancy staff in Pune.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar had,as Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment,written to the Chief Minister regarding the plight of these workers. A visit to Pune by an official team,led by Union Social Justice Secretary Arvind Prasad had followed.
The PMC has completed all the required procedure for implementation of the government’s decision to allot free homes to conservancy staff. Accordingly,the administration has prepared a list of beneficiaries, said Mangesh Joshi,deputy municipal commissioner.
The government had decided to give free houses to conservancy staff who have completed at least 25 years in service,he said adding,The state government’s resolution came in 2008,and hence those fulfilling the criteria from the date of resolution have also been considered.
Joshi said a list of conservancy staff with 25 years of service was prepared between 2008 to December 31,2012, The conservancy staff living in the PMC colonies was dropped from the list and a final list was prepared after rejecting benefit to conservancy staff who already own houses in city. This was checked through the civic records available with property tax department, he said.
In the first phase,188 conservancy staff will be getting free houses. There are three conservancy staff members,who have passed away after the finalisation of the list,so their kins would be handed over the property, Joshi said.
The PMC has also prepared list of conservancy staff,who died while on duty,he said,adding that a list of 169 such conservancy staff,has been prepared. Their relatives would be given free houses in the scheme in the second phase. This is because the legal heir of the family of the deceased staff is yet to be decided.
The government had directed civic bodies to provide free dwelling units with a carpet area of 269 sq ft to eligible conservancy staff ,under the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Shramsafalya Awas Yojana.
The government had said it would reserve for the conservancy workers 15 per cent of houses in Low Income Group Housing,Integrated Housing and Slums Development Programme (IHSDP),Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and in surplus flats under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme.
Free houses to conservancy staff have been made available under the Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) projects at Hadapsar and Warje, said Poonam Mehta,the PMC-appointed Livelihood Development Specialist.
There are a total of 550 houses of BSUP that will be allotted to conservancy staff and would be handed over as the eligible beneficiary is identified. The civic administration also involved the PMC employee union for implementation of scheme, she said.